Impact Aid and the Education of Military Children

By Richard Buddin; Brian P. Gill Ron et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Two
PURPOSES, FORMULAS, AND HISTORICAL
CONTEXT OF IMPACT AID

THE PURPOSES OF IMPACT AID

The federal Impact Aid statute (Public Law 103–382, sections 8001– 8014, codified at 20 U.S.C. sections 7701–7714), first passed in 1950, was originally intended for the sole purpose of providing financial relief to local school districts that were burdened (“impacted”) by activities of the federal government. The rapid growth of U.S. military forces during the Korean War caused dramatic increases in the school-age populations of some communities around military bases. Military bases and other federal properties are not subject to local property taxes, which were the major source of revenue for local school districts. Congress concluded that activities on federal property placed an unfair burden on local school districts by bringing in additional children without increasing the local tax base.1

Today, compensation to local districts for the expense of educating federally connected children remains the primary purpose of the Impact Aid program.2 In addition, however, the 1994 reauthorization of the statute notes that the program is also intended “to help [federally connected] children meet challenging state standards.”3 Consistent with this new language, members of Congress who sup

____________________
1
See Senate Report 83–714, 1953, for a discussion of the purpose of the initial Impact Aid statute passed in 1950.
2
Section 8001. All references to the statute will use the citation from P.L. 103–382, which is the convention among Impact Aid interest groups and policymakers.
3
Section 8001.

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